Ahhhhh, the cold air, the scent of pumpkin spice is seemingly everywhere and the leaves are changing colors…it’s officially fall. Wait? What? Sorry, I forget I’m not in Massachusetts anymore, it’s still 85 degrees and humid in Virginia Beach, but there’s still some pumpkin spice and it’s October so it’s still fall… I guess. Nonetheless, as the calendar turns to October, the sports fan inside of me is giddy; the NFL and college football are in full swing, the NBA is getting ready to tip off, but more importantly, it’s time for the Major League Baseball Postseason. Almost eight months go into a full 162 MLB schedule and now ten teams are just 11 wins (12 for the Wildcard teams) away from the ultimate glory of being a champion, but who will be holding the trophy over their head come the World Series? Let’s take a look.
Side Note, I will try to keep my Boston bias out of this, but if it starts to sound like bias, it is more just simply the truth.
Moving on…the Boston Red Sox, the team that went 108-54, setting a franchise record in wins, are the clear cut favorite to win the World Series. With two MVP candidates in Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, along with Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello, it is the Red Sox;s trophy to lose. Now saying that, it is entirely possible that they do not win, so who else would?
The Yankees, Astros and Indians are the other top competitors in the American League, so if it is not the Red Sox representing the American League, it will likely be one of those three teams playing in the Fall Classic. Sorry Oakland Athletics fans, but I don’t think the A’s can get past the pitching of any of the other teams representing the American League in the World Series.
The Astros are the defending World Series Champions and with the young core of Alex Bregman, George Springer and Jose Altuve, plus the veteran pitching of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, they are going to be a force in the playoffs.
As for who will be matching up with the American League Champion in the World Series as the National League representative, well, it’s really anyone’s to take. Personally, I am rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers as the small market team has had a magical year led by MVP candidate Christian Yelich. The Dodgers will also be in the mix, but that is no surprise with their $195,000,000 payroll. The Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs have played great baseball at times this year too. Or will the young Atlanta Braves make a charge in October? Guess we’ll have to watch to find out.
If you have never watched the MLB playoffs, then I encourage you to give it a try in the upcoming weeks, and if you have, then you can attest to what I am about to say: the passion, effort and pure heart that is left out on the field during the MLB playoffs is second to none. Baseball is such a funny game in the way that you truly never know what pitch can be the difference in the game. It could be a pitch in the first inning, the fifth inning or the last pitch of the game. Every pitch and play is magnified in the postseason and it is truly magically. The joy displayed in the dugouts after each and every hit or run is a perfect example of this. The inner child comes out in big moments and celebrations and the agony of defeat is displayed just across the field, which makes a perfect environment for championship baseball.
But for what it is worth (probably nothing), Red Sox come away with the trophy in six games over the Milwaukee Brewers.